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The importance of student leadership

Developing leadership skills is actively encouraged at ACG School Jakarta. Students can contribute to school life by representing their peers, leading sports teams, or taking on more formal leadership roles.
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ACG School Jakarta student leaders (from left) Anh Vu, Raahim Hadi and Rebecca Balanescu

Building great leaders is incredibly important at ACG School Jakarta. In fact, according to Co-Head Girl Rebecca Balanescu, it’s part of the school’s DNA. 

By nurturing student leadership skills, ACG School Jakarta prepares young people for the future, boosting confidence, developing critical thinking and collaboration capabilities, and growing community-spirited global citizens who genuinely care about the world around them. 

And as Rebecca explains, that’s precisely what the planet needs.

“The world progresses with people taking leadership and identifying solutions to new and old problems, and with people who are ready to lead others towards a common goal,” she says.

“ACG equips students with the essential skills to do this, teaching us to assume responsibility, be proactive, look for solutions and not just expect others to do the job. Ultimately, it teaches us to contribute to a better society.”

ACG School Jakarta believes that all its students are able to contribute to change and offers a variety of ways to get involved. From the Student Council, the House system and community service initiatives through to the Assembly Committee, Yearbook Committee and Model United Nations (MUN) simulation, where students learn about diplomacy and international relations.

“The Student Council members, prefects and head students are responsible for contributing not only to the community but globally. Students choose and organise the events they find meaningful,” adds Rebecca. 

 “And ACG partnerships allow students to engage in different communities and contribute to certain global issues. For instance, the Inspired Global Student Leadership Committee encourages students to collaborate to create a voice for all Inspired Schools, developing leadership skills through engaging in discussions and brainstorming plans for future change.”

Co-Head Girl Anh Vu started at ACG School Jakarta in 2019, beginning her leadership journey as a Year 12 prefect.

“I made some mistakes and learned a lot, and I found the experience so fulfilling I decided to apply for Head Girl,” she says. “Now, as Co-Head Girl, I’m glad to continue contributing to the school and being a role model for the younger students. I hope to leave behind an example of what a student leader should be and encourage others to do the same. On top of that, I hope to make school just a little bit more exciting than normal!”

The opportunities she has been given have proven life-changing.

“My organisational skills have definitely improved, and I’ve become more meticulous. I’ve developed my leadership style and become more aware of the ways people respond to certain situations. Also, my teamwork and communication skills have been boosted. Leading a Student Council is not a one-person job; we all have to work together and help each other out.”

Anh is convinced that ACG School Jakarta’s student leadership programme prepares students for the future, empowering them to overcome obstacles, make firm, rational decisions and become well-rounded members of society.

“Even at Primary level, ACG students have their own student government, and classmates are encouraged to create posters and contribute ideas to what they’d like the class to be. There are so many different ways students can have a voice in areas they’re passionate about, such as Radio Wolf, SCREAM zine and Eco Warriors.

"Student leadership at ACG allows for individuals to grow in ways they never thought they could. Even if someone doesn’t think they have the abilities to become a student leader, joining a club or just volunteering to help out will help them gain those skills.”

For Head Boy Raahim Hadi, ACG’s focus on leadership is a testament to the school’s global vision.

“ACG School Jakarta understands the needs of living in the real world,” Raahim confirms. “Along with academics and other extracurriculars, students work on developing leadership skills from an early age. This helps prepare us for the workplace, broadens our world view and empowers us to create change in the global society.”

Service to others plays an integral role in this and is an area where Raahim is particularly passionate.

“The school has had multiple fundraising initiatives to support families affected by Covid-19 as well as natural disasters like the Jakarta floods. I have been part of food donations in my local area and have also been tutoring students in maths, physics and chemistry as part of the STEM Peer Learning Club. Becoming a student leader is a great way to develop your personality and see what your potential is outside of a school context.”

And while not all students may aspire to become a Head Boy or Head Girl, there are numerous other paths they can follow to become great leaders.

Says Rebecca, “You don’t have to be Head Girl or a prefect to show leadership and guide others towards achieving something important. You only need to care, be involved, contribute ideas, speak your mind, help people and be generous. Leaders are not made by their formal positions, but by their capacity to help and guide.”